What To Know When You Are Playing a New Golf Course for the First Time

playing a new golf course for the first time

Playing golf for the first time on a new course presents new challenges and fresh opportunities to enjoy the sport. After all, each course is different in terms of its layout, location and atmosphere. 

While these differences are part of the fun, they can also open the doors to some potential pitfalls, such as not allowing enough time for a round or not dressing appropriately. The good news is that by preparing for your first time golfing on a new course, you can set yourself up for the best experience possible. Read on for some first time golfing tips that can help you get ready for a new course. 

Researching the Golf Course 

To play your best, you need to plan ahead and that means knowing some key information about the course layout and yardage. There is a wealth of online resources to aid in your research. One of our favorites is the SwingU app that lets you access course data right on your mobile device. 

As you research courses, be sure to check: 

  • Difficulty Level (Slope Rating): This data will give you a feel for how challenging the course will be based on your level of experience. 
  • Reviews: Find out what other people are saying about the course. You can get a great feel for what it's like to play there by reading about other people's experiences and even find tips that can help you plan shots. 
  • Rules: Although many courses have similar rules, you should always look over the complete rules listing in case there are any surprises. 
  • Customs: Read about any local customs that may differ from usual golf course etiquette. 

Making a Tee Time and Preparing for the Round 

Even when scheduling tee times is optional, it's a good idea to call ahead and book a slot. Find out how long it takes to get there, and be sure that you leave enough time to arrive early, so you don't miss your tee time. Also, think about whether you want to walk the course or rent a golf cart. 

Once you arrive, prepare for your round by checking in and asking for a run down on any unique course policies. 

How Long Does It Take to Golf 18 Holes? 

On average, it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours to play 18 holes of golf. The actual length of time depends on the size of the course, whether you choose to walk or rent a cart, and the skill level of the group or individual. You can do research to find out estimated time frames as well.

How Long Do 9 Holes of Golf Take? 

Normally, it takes anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours to play 9 holes of golf. As with a full round, the amount of time will vary based on the same set of factors. 

Knowing What to Bring 

To have a great round of golf, you need to be prepared for the weather and the game. For most courses, you should gather the following to bring with you: 

  • Golf clubs, unless you are renting 
  • Several golf balls and tees 
  • Golf gloves, if you wear them 
  • Golf towels 
  • Divot repair tool 
  • Golf hat and sunglasses for sun protection 
  • Jacket and rain gear to prepare for shifting weather 
  • Tip money if you plan to use a caddy 
  • Water bottle for hydration 
  • Snacks for a quick boost of energy 

Understanding the Dress Code 

Before you head to a new course, find out if there are any rules on what you should wear. Most public courses don't have strict dress codes, but golfers still typically wear seasonal variations of polos paired with golf pants or shorts. On colder days, they may add a pullover or jacket for warmth. 

If you're golfing on a semi-private or private course, you're more likely to have a dress code to comply with. Check the details and be sure that you follow them to avoid being asked to change or even leave the course. 

As you select your golf attire and accessories, think about comfort as much as style. Polo shirts and golf bottoms with technical features like stretch panels, breathable fabrics and moisture-wicking technology can help you look your best while reducing distractions on the course. 

If you are still interested in learning more about traditional golf etiquette, check out our blog on Golf Course Etiquette. 

Following Basic Golf Etiquette 

Brushing up on golf etiquette is one of the most important first time golfing tips because it will allow you to treat fellow players with respect. Some key parts of golf etiquette include: 

  • Staying quiet when other golfers are playing to avoid distracting them 
  • Giving other players enough personal space to allow for easy movement 
  • Maintaining the pace of play to avoid delaying others 
  • Repairing divots and ball marks when they occur 
  • Raking bunkers after you play 
  • Practicing good sportsmanship and taking disappointing shots in stride 

Look Your Best on The New Course 

By taking the time to research and prepare, you can focus on the excitement of playing a new course and avoid common challenges that can arise when you're hitting unfamiliar fairways. When you know what to expect and plan well, you'll be better able to focus on your golf swing for beginners or to refine your form as a more experienced player. 

Remember that getting familiar with the dress code is a key part of your preparations. Once you know how to dress for the day, Devereux can help you gear up for your round of golf with our selection of golf polos, golf shorts and golf pants designed with both style and performance in mind. Shop our New Arrivals now to see our latest options for your first time golfing a new course. 

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